Honolulu, residents on the neighbor islands might say, is too big, too busy, too expensive. Folks on Oahu’s Windward Side might say the same, happy for the separation of the Koolau.

Some city denizens, in the meantime, might view Windward residents and people on Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Maui and Hawaii Island as too laid-back and too dismissive of Honolulu’s primacy in state government and industry.

Geographically, Hawaii’s two congressional districts are quite different. The 1st District essentially covers greater Honolulu and is mostly urban, while the 2nd District consists of the rest of Oahu and the neighbor islands, and it is largely rural.

No surprise, then, that the districts have clear differences when it comes to government services, particularly in transportation, agriculture and infrastructure.

Now, fresh data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals other important distinctions, breaking the congressional districts down by who lives there, what jobs they hold, how much money they make, their educational attainment and what it costs to live there.

Hawaii doesn’t require its U.S. House representatives to reside in their respective district. Judging from the new census information, perhaps it should; when it comes to income, housing, work and health, it’s a tale of two Hawaiis.

Interactive Tool

The new data comes from My Congressional District, which was launched July 25 by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The online resource is described in a press release as the first interactive tool “geared exclusively toward finding basic demographic and economic statistics for every congressional district in the U.S.”

The web app draws on the latest annual statistics from the American Community Survey, which samples small percentages of the population on an ongoing basis.

Let’s compare and contrast CD1 and CD2.

The People

The 1st District is larger, with about 6,500 more people. It also has slightly more women, and more people aged 60 and above.

The 2nd District has more Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, more Latinos and many more white people, but far fewer Asians.

Foreign-born population? The district that includes Honolulu has twice as many as its counterpart. But there are roughly twice as many people living in the 2nd District that report having German, Irish or Portuguese ancestry.

Jobs and Housing

The unemployment rate in the 1st District is substantially lower, 5.9 percent compared with 9.6 percent in the 2nd District. As home to the big city, the 1st District has more people who are employed in management, business, science, the arts, and in sales and service occupations. In the 2nd District more people work in natural resources, construction and maintenance jobs.

Nearly four times more residents of the 1st District use public transportation, while nearly five times as many people in CD2 work in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting. The 2nd District also has a lot more self-employed people and unpaid family workers.

It is easier to find a place to live in CD2, where there are twice as many vacant housing units, and twice the rental vacancy rate. Median housing prices in the 1st District are about $100,000 higher and median rental prices are $84 more per month.

Economics and Education

And if you live in the district that includes the greater Honolulu area, you are likely to earn more money. The median (or middle) household income is $65,602. In the 2nd District, by contrast, it is $57,492. The mean (or average) household income is $83,286 for CD1 and $74,100 for CD2.

More people in the 1st District are protected by health insurance, while three times as many people under 18 in the 2nd District are uninsured. Approximately one person in seven in the 2nd District had income that placed them below the poverty line over the past 12 months, versus 9.3 percent for the more prosperous district; the poverty figures include twice as many children.

Finally, more people in the 1st District are enrolled in college than in CD2, and more have obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher, but fewer are high school graduates.

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